Saturday, December 12, 2009

Will the best scripts of 2009 be the best movies of 2010?

The short answer to that question is of course not, because it certainly takes a lot of steps to get a movie from great script to even somewhat good flick.

And though I have to admit I had never heard of it until I stumbled on it yesterday at, Franklin Leonard has been releasing "The Black List" (rather unfortunate name, but great idea) since 2004. It's a list of the best scripts that Leonard, now an executive at Universal, has received each year, in 2009 culled from 97 offerings. You can read the whole thing here, but below are a few highlights from the top 10 that caught my eye, with commentary from me.

1. The Muppet Man
By Christopher Weekes
I had no idea that a biopic about Jim Henson was in the works, but I'm just jazzed beyond all reason that it is and may even be coming soon. Like everyone of a certain age, I grew up with the Muppets, and just loved them, especially the thoroughly magical "Muppet Movie." This is listed as being set up at the Jim Henson Co., so may not exactly be an objective view, but who would really want to watch a hatchet job about Jim Henson anyway? With this and (maybe) a new Muppet movie coming from Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, it truly could be a new golden age for my favorite puppets (who somehow even have their own very fun Youtube channel, too.)

2. The Social Network
By Aaron Sorkin
I just lent out my copy of Sorkin's "Sports Night" to my fellow cubicle slave Randy Waters, and he now shares the minority view with me that it's even better than Sorkin's "The West Wing." Either way, his wit shined again in 2008 with "Charlie Wilson's War," and hopefully will also with this story about the creation of Facebook (which I'm somehow on.) In the words of Leonard, the "fascinating biographical elements of Shattered Glass meets the courtroom drama of Kramer vs. Kramer, without the tears." Namechecking one of my favorite movies ("Shattered Glass") will get my attention every time, and with David Fincher directing this for an October 2010 release starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake (a surprisingly good actor), this is definitely one I've got my eyes on.

3. The Voices
By Michael R. Perry
I certainly like twisted movies, and from the right perspective I also don't mind some horrific violence thrown in too, so this sounds right up my alley. According to Leonard, this one's about a schizophrenic worker at a bathtub factory who accidentally kills a beautiful woman from his workplace. While trying to cover his tracks, he starts to hear voices from his foul-mouthed cat and dog. In describing it as like "watching the lovable pig from Babe join forces with American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman," Leonard already had me hooked. Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) will apparently direct this if he can find someone crazy enough to take the lead role.

5. Cedar Rapids
By Phil Johnston
You can count Miguel Arteta's "Youth in Revolt" starring Michael Cera as one of the near-future movies I'm really looking forward to, so it's certainly good news to hear that his next one should be a winner too. He's attached to direct this flick starring Ed Helms as a small-town insurance man who hasn't accomplished much of anything until he gets invited to represent his company at the Cedar Rapids insurance convention. Helms is still the funniest guy on "The Office," and with Alia Shawkat, John C. Reilly and even Sigourney Weaver set to co-star, it should be a real hoot.

6. Londongrad
By David Scarpa (The Day The Earth Stood Still and co-wrote The Last Castle)
It seems like forever since I've seen a great spy movie (or at least one without Paul Greengrass' uncontrollably shaky camera), but this one certainly seems to fit the bill. It's an adaptation of Alan Cowell's 2008 book "The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder," which chronicles the life and death of Alexander Litvinenko. The story itself seems way too good to be true, with Litvinenko allegedly poisoned by radioactive tea, but it really did happen in 2006, and thoroughly fascinated me at the time. Leonard says the script evokes "Born of the Fourth of July, Silkwood, and Robert DeNiro’s history-of-the-CIA saga The Good Shepherd - but in Russia, with spies," which sounds great to me. Warner Bros. has apparently optioned the script, and I somehow think I read Johnny Depp has been attached to star in it, though I read so much about movies that I could be just all wet about that.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see one movie today, but I can't decide between "Invictus" and "The Princess and the Frog." I'll eventually see them both, but I'm leaning with starting with Disney's return to 2D animation. Peace out.


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Watch Tv said...

My answer is yes..It can be possible. It certainly depends on some important things whether film will go good or not. It does n't matter when the script has been written about film.